The Demand for Violence in Hockey

Duane W. Rockerbie

in The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387773
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Demand for Violence in Hockey

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  • Labour and Demographic Economics



This chapter presents some revealing statistics about violence in the National Hockey League (NHL), and discusses economic literature on why violence is tolerated in the NHL. Next, it provides some new evidence on the effects of violence on NHL attendance. Casual observation provides mixed evidence about the effects of fighting on attendance in the NHL. The first stream of the hocket violence literature investigates whether greater violence in NHL contests contributes to greater attendance and higher salaries for players who exhibit violent behavior, and the second considers whether greater enforcement of the rules that are meant to deter violent behavior actually do so. It is shown that hockey fans respond mildly positively to greater violence, and that efforts made by the NHL to reduce the frequency and severity of violent behavior have been met with modest success.

Keywords: violence; National Hockey League; fighting; attendance; violent behavior

Article.  7383 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Industry Studies ; Labour and Demographic Economics

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